Season 2, Episode 11, “Choices”

“Choices” begins with the cheerleaders, “Dewey Hooters,” of Mike and Carol’s school doing a cheer for really no reason at all. It doesn’t launch the conversation we’re about to see between these two brazen girls, nor does it have anything to do with Carol. All we get out of it is a slightly amusing reaction shot of Mike mocking them. Following that Mike gets called to the principal’s office, surprise surprise. Back to that conversation I was talking about. The two girls are talking about how “it’s a scientific fact that you can be cute and deep, but only one in a million can be deep and cute.”

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They’d classify Carol, who’s on the other end of the table, as “pathetic.” Before heading to the principal’s office, Mike tries to get Carol to write him a note, in Maggie’s handwriting. Their conversation is interrupted by the principal saying that it’s Carol he needs, not Mike. Knowing Carol she didn’t get in trouble, so why does the principal want to talk to her?

Ben is seen making a sandwich as Carol comes into asking where Jason and Maggie are. Jason’s with a patient and Maggie’s not home yet. Next Mike comes in and jokingly asks if they’re changing the name of their school to nerd school, after Carol. She corrects him by saying that she was offered the choice of skipping a grade. Mike could care less, until he realizes that’ll mean that they’re in the same grade, the 11th grade.

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The phone starts ringing, while Mike is trying to accept that Carol and him might soon be in the same grade. Ben picks up the phone and hands it over to Mike. It’s Jerry who’s offering Mike the opportunity to go on a date with a stewardess. Yeah, you heard that right. Mike wants to go, but he’s not sure his folks will go for it, because it’s a school night. This means he’ll have to run it by Jason.

So, now Mike, Carol, and Ben wants to talk to Jason, who’s finishing up with a patient. Carol seems like she wants to talk strictly to Maggie. I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to tell both of them the good news but whatever. Jason finishes up with the patient and is bombarded by Carol, Mike, and Ben.

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Turns out Ben wanted to talk to him just to tell him he’s going across the street. Carol no longer needs him, because Maggie is home. Again, for whatever reason, I don’t know. Mike sits Jason down and Jason says just to see what Maggie says. Carol tells Maggie and they’re both just ecstatic about it. Jason, on the other hand, isn’t so much. With taking what just happened, Mike sees this as the perfect time to ask if he can go out tonight, and Maggie says yes. Maggie follows Jason into the kitchen to see why and Jason he thinks Carol might be doing this to keep avoiding being very social. After hearing this reasoning, Maggie starts having the same fears.

It’s after dinner and Mike has to help Ben do the dishes. Well, Mike’s idea of helping is pointing Ben in direction of the dishwasher. Surprisingly, Jason just smiles instead of making Mike go back and help Ben. Now back to the Carol changing grades thing, with Jason asking won’t she miss her friends. This is kinda a dumb question seeings as, like Carol brings up, they’ll still be in the same school. I mean I know it’s a big school, but you can still coordinate. Ben thinks she should in order to mess up Mike’s whole year. Jason says that Carol is reminding him of Maggie and Carol agrees, except that she won’t make the same mistake with getting married and having a family. It’s weird because the audience laughs treating this as a joke, but the writers are trying to make us believe this is the issue, so to speak, that the episode has to revolve by the end of the episode.

The doorbell rings, while Carol and Jason are discussing going out for ice cream to talk about her skipping a grade, and it’s the stewardess, Kitty, to meet Mike and go on their date.

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Jason, because of her age, doesn’t let Mike go on the date and says to take Kitty outside to explain why he can’t go on the date.

Maggie comes in the room to talk and convince that she doesn’t regret getting married, having a family, and giving up her career. The point doesn’t come across as Maggie wants to and instead, Carol thinks Maggie was just being submissive to her family and assures her she won’t make the same mistake.

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Meanwhile, Mike is outside on the porch explaining to Kitty that he has the “Benjamin Button Syndrome.” She buys it. You got another winner, Mike.

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Maggie is in the kitchen explaining the same thing to Jason and wishes she had been around before she was born. This gives Jason an idea.

Carol’s in her pajamas studying, in the living room, and Jason puts an old audio player.

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Throughout the clip she smiles and looks proud. Jason brings Maggie downstairs and Carol finally sees that having a family and giving up her career was her choice and she did it because wanted to. The whole time Maggie has just been trying to say that Carol has choices.

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The next day at lunch, those same two girls are talking about how controlling their mothers. This gets Carol going about how her mother allows to make her own choices and her choice is that she doesn’t want to skip a grade, because of all the extra work.

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Mike’s overjoyed to her this news, but it’s ruined when he’s called to the principal’s office, and this time it’s for real.

Final scene: Ben comes into the living room, where Maggie and Jason are, and ask to hear the audio of himself being born. Jason says it’s with some other boxes.

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Then Maggie brings up how they didn’t make one for Ben and Jason suggests they could make a new one and trick him, okay…

And That’s The Point.

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